Interview with Kathy (Fort Collins) about her experience with Vitality Rolfing, LLC
How is Rolfing® Structural Integration different than other modalities you have tried?
Rolfing is the first modality I’ve tried that opened up my fascia. I guess you call it “hydrating.” I’ve tried massage, physical therapy, chiropractic, yoga, and Pilates, but none of these gave me that sensation of openness — in my chest, particularly — or the relief of tightness that I’ve felt in my chest, neck, shoulders, glutes, and hamstrings for the last 5 years or so.
What was the biggest benefit for you?
Before being Rolfed, my muscles felt very tight, and it seemed that no matter how much resting, icing, heat application, or stretching I did, they just always felt tight. (Massage and PT would provide some temporary relief, but nothing seemed to last.) My movement was restricted, and my balance and stability were compromised. Consequently, even though I’ve been very physically active for most of my life, it got to where I did not enjoy many types of exercise anymore, because either it hurt to move or I was afraid I would injure myself.
The biggest benefit of Rolfing for me was being able to stretch without pain and to actually enjoy and look forward to stretching again. I now have greater range of motion; I’m able to do the pigeon stretch in yoga; I have greater stability doing many Pilates movements; I’m able to do Zumba, Hip Hop, and Step Aerobics again without hurting myself. I can jog without feeling as though I’m pulling my hamstring, and my balance and stability are greatly improved — nearly back to normal, in fact. So the greatest benefit is that I’m able to move without pain and without the fear that I will inflict new pain on myself, and I am ENJOYING exercising again.
Would you recommend Rolfing to a friend?
I definitely would, and I have. I can share my experience with my friends, but everyone is different and has to find the modality that works best for them. I have one friend who would like to try rolfing, but she won’t, because her health insurance won’t cover it.
Was the experience of Rolfing different than your initial expectations?
Yes, the experience was very different than I’d expected. For the last 10 years, I’ve been intrigued about rolfing and its focus on spinal alignment and posture, but everything I’d read and heard led me to believe that Rolfing was very painful. When I hear that Joseph at Vitality Rolfing uses effective, painless techniques (thanks to Lacey), I decided to give rolfing a try. I’m glad I did.
Why did you first try Rolfing?
Because of persistent pain/tightness in the area where my hamstrings and glutes come together. I’d tried all the other modalities mentioned above, and none of them provided any long-term results. The relief I’ve gotten from Rolfing has been significant. The chronic pain I had in my left glute and hamstrings are nearly gone, and I’m able to fully use those muscles again. Before Rolfing, I believed that that pain was something I would have to live with for the rest of my life.
How did your body respond to Joseph’s gentle approach to Rolfing Structural Integration?
I used to believe in the expression, “no pain, no gain,” and I thought that if a modality wasn’t painful that it was getting deep enough to do any good. It felt as though Joseph’s gentle touch was just what my body needed and had been waiting for such a long time. Joseph’s gentle approach softened the tightness I felt in so many areas — my shoulders, jaw, neck, legs, hips, and feet — and helped me to breathe more fully. Joseph taught me to channel my breath into the tight areas and into the areas he was working on, and when I did this, I felt an opening up. I continue to use focused breathing as a way to release tension and tightness in my muscles.
One other thing I very much appreciated about Joseph’s approach was his willingness to teach me more about my own body and answer my many questions. I felt that he really listened to me and that his experience allowed him to literally and figuratively touch into those areas that would benefit most from Rolfing. I have become more aware about how I walk, and how to think about the parts of my body working together when I walk. I’ve learned how to work at my computer in ways to prevent injuries and encourage better spinal alignment, and I’ve learned about the types of footwear that are best at promoting healthy feet and excellent posture. This education has been priceless.
Thank you, Joseph, for all the wonderful work you’ve done on me. I imagine that I will be in for “tune-up” sessions periodically, but, for now, I feel that you’ve help relieve my body of chronic pain, and you’ve taught me how to take better care of my body, how to breathe, and how to move in ways that will help keep me pain-free.